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Are Wooden Pallets Bad for the Environment?
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There is a common misconception that wooden pallets are bad for the environment.  Although the harvest of timber is vital to production, the wooden pallet industry does not represent a threat to our nation’s forests.  Our Inca molded presswood pallets are produced from waste and scrap lumber, making them both sustainable and eco-friendly.  And while it is true that the traditional wooden pallet industry accounts for a significant portion of North American hardwood lumber harvested each year, the state of the our nation’s forests is actually much better than the naysayers might suggest.  A recent report from the National Hardwood Lumber Association does a wonderful job dispelling some of the myths associated with the pallet industry’s impact on North American forests.  Consider the following, courtesy of the NHLA:

  • In 1950, there was 400 billion board feet of standing merchantable hardwood timer in the United States.  Today, there is in excess of one trillion board feet.
  • Six trees are planted for every tree harvested in the United States.
  • Lumber companies and private timberland owners plant 80% of these seedlings….1.7 billion seedlings each year…enough trees to cover 2.6 million acres, which is roughly the size of Connecticut.
  • The U.S has 70 percent of the forestland it had in 1600..enough to cover every square inch east of the Great Plains.
  • 36% of our nation’s forests are reserved from harvest by law.
  • In the early 1900’s, we lost 20-50 million acres of timber to forest fires each year.  Today, this number ranges between 2-7 million acres annually, a decrease of 86%.
  • If hardwood trees stopped growing and harvesting continued at current levels, the timber supply would last in excess of 75 years.

Advances in conservation and application of forestry best practices mean that we are actually improving yields of finished products from each tree.  In short, America’s forests are sustainable.  The next time you are considering something other than a presswood pallet or traditional wooden pallet based solely on sustainability concerns, think again.  Wood is a cost effective and sustainable, making it an ideal material choice for many pallet applications.  Litco carries a wide range of molded presswood as well as new and recycled heat treated wooden GMA pallets to Carry your products safely on through the most demanding supply chains.

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